The Ugly Truth & How To Keep It Real

Truth Torn PaperSometimes, no, a lot of times, the facts are right before you, but consciously or unconsciously you choose to ignore them. It may be that you tend to ignore information that does not fit with how you see or want to see things. Or it may be a matter of being over-optimistic, sometimes being too stubborn to accept contradictory information.

That used to be a great weakness of mine, being over-optimistic to the extent of simply ignoring information that did not fit with how I wanted things to be. Sometimes, even when I recognised such inconvenient truths I went ahead thinking that out of sheer will I could change things and make them work out.

Couple that with my misapplied “positive thinking” mentality at the time and you cn guess where things were headed. Often this took a lot of effort and sometimes things even seemed to work out. But the success was often short-lived as those inconvenient truths reared their ugly heads again, to my frustration.

So I would try again and again and again. I was never the type to give up. This inevitably took its tool over time. You can only hit your head so many times against a brick wall without getting injured. The injury did come.

Consequences of ignoring the truth can be harsh

Sometimes it was financial injury in the form of business losses or money wasted on something or someone. Sometimes it was emotional injury, disappointment, rejection, dejection, shame. Sometimes it was simply time wasted. Many times it was all of them.

My personality type did not help either. My type of personality, INTJ in Myers Briggs or strong on Dominance in DiSC personality types, is known to not think things through in great detail and act on hunches or intuition more. We are notorious for ignoring things that do not fit into our thinking and views.

Over time I have come to be very aware of this and thus learnt to compensate for it and be more careful in analysing things before I take a leap. I often take a step back before taking action, or when things are not working out I analyse a little more than I would like to so I do not miss anything. I accept information that is not convenient to my plans or that is uncomfortable more. The mistakes are fewer now.

Understand your weaknesses

That is the great thing about knowing your weaknesses, you learn how to overcome them or deal with them. I don’t agree at all with most motivational gurus and coaches that say you should simply focus on your strengths. It is important to also understand and handle your weaknesses, sometimes more than your strengths because they represent your blind-side. Your blind-side is what makes you you vulnerable, it is your Achilles’ heel. It must be dealt with or it can cost you dearly.

So I listen a little more. I analyse a little more. Where I need an extra ear or extra eye from someone stronger in my weak areas I get the help. I ask for advice.

But there are some people who are opposites to me. For example, they are the kind of people who will over-analyse things and never take action. They want everything to be perfect before they act. Such people would do well to take a little more risk. To plan less and execute more. To team up with people who are less risk averse.

Balance is key

Balance. That is the key. You must balance your behaviour. Understand and utilise your strengths, but also understand and minimise your weaknesses. Both sides of the equation must be balanced.

Sometimes though, it is wise to give up. When you have given it your utmost best and tried and tried again and things still do not work out, there is no shame in letting go.

The trick is to learn your lessons. If you learn from the experience, then it is not failure at all. It is s stepping stone. You can apply those lessons to another venture.

Foregt your “sunk costs”

Remember the finance principle of sunk costs. Just because you have spent so much money in a business venture or spent so much time in a relationship it does not mean you need to hang on forever. Those are sunk costs and should not influence your future decision as to whether to carry on or not.

The only thing that should influence that decision is your prospects of future success. That requires careful analysis and understanding of both past and future behaviour.

Focus on the future

The future is all that matters, not the past. But apply your learning from the past. Live according to the present truth of your situation and not according to what you would like to believe it to be.

Live according to the truth.


Finding Balance – Introverted Vs Extoverted Recharging

IMG_20171126_112613_835My idea of a restful weekend is being at home and not having to touch my car all weekend. I love to just enjoy the stress free feeling of having nowhere to go and nothing in particular to do. After a whole week of driving to and from work and attending to other business, driving is normally the last thing I want to do on a weekend.
I think your home should be your refuge and place to recuperate and find rest. I often find it strange when someone says I am bored at home because for me home is the ultimate place to be on a weekend. Nothing better to achieve this, for me, than spending some time in the kitchen cooking a nice meal whilst listening to some music.

I love big yards because they offer serenity. I can explore my own yard and find amazing plants and flowers, insects and birds. There is always something new to see if you are looking for it and are curious. Photography has helped me to appreciate my surroundings even more and to be curious.

Then a little choice and selective television to unwind and just explore. Nature shows and documentaries are my first choice, then perhaps a good movie. A science-fiction or thriller will do, thank you.

But I know that for some people that would be a very dull weekend full of drudgery and boredom. Some people’s idea of a good and restful weekend is driving around, hanging out with friends, having braais, socialising and all. Being home all weekend to them is like being imprisoned.
Nothing wrong with that, I have come to learn. People like me, who are naturally introverted, live internally. We find the greatest satisfaction from being able to get away from it all and just think and reflect. Solitude does not mean loneliness, but rather being alone. We recharge our batteries by finding peace and quiet.

Others, live externally. Social interaction is their form of recharging. When alone they feel lonely and not at peace. They crave excitement and novelty. They need constant interaction with people. Extroversion is like that.

This can be a real challenge in a relationship when one partner is like me, introverted, and the other is extroverted. Then it can be a real struggle to find balance. The extrovert might complain that their partner is boring and never wants to do anything. The introvert would say their partner is too demanding and always wanting to go out and have fun.

For the introvert, spending money on such activities they do not consider necessary nor fun can be an added stress. The extrovert may think their partner is stingy. But it is really just a matter of perspective.

What is important, is to understand one another’s personalities and work around that. Balance is key and both parties must be given the time to enjoy what they like. So sometimes a weekend home will do and another time some time out would be nice. Each has to compromise and do what is good for the other person.

It is amazing how long it took me to learn this. I used to think there was something wrong or weird about me. I remember as a teenager declining some family outings and preferring to be home alone to just relax. My parents no doubt were worried about my behaviour, which I find quite funny in retrospect.

But doing personality profiles like Myers Briggs has reassured me. Having an INTJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging) personality profile has put things in perspective and helped me to understand my behaviour better.

In my book Destiny On Purpose I talk about how important is to know yourself better by doing this and other personality profiles. It is one step closer to understanding your purpose in life. And one step closer to better relationships once you understand your strengths and weaknesses.